Tips for a noisy meditation

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
greeneggsandsam
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Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby greeneggsandsam » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:56 am

Unfortunately due to some circumstances outside of my control, I often have to deal with a lot of background noise during my meditation, such as, people talking, lights being switched on, arguments, tv, etc etc.

Any useful tips on how to not get distracted by such noise??

I have a feeling someone might suggest walking meditation, so besides that as I do prefer sitting, especially with a lack of a flat path and some cold weather.


:anjali:
If you think nibbana is better than samsara, then you've missed the point - Ajahn Sumedho

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:08 am

This illustrates exactly how important Meditation, and focus is.

Our environment cannot always be peaceful, silent.... with the aroma of incense, the periodic striking of a bell, or nothing to accompany us, but the sound and sensation of our breath.

You lucky person! What a most excellent opportunity to truly develop calm and insight!

Be Aware.
Be aware of every single sound, and everything that happens.
Note them, take them in, focus on them.
But do not add a single mental word of commentary, other than 'voice'....'light'.....TV.....

Be with them, but not of them. Involve yourself yet remain detached.
Sit. Absorb, observe, and let go.

That's my method, anyway.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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cooran
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:16 am

Hello greeneggsandsam,

Here is a previous thread on that question:

Meditating with Noise
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=11376

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

greeneggsandsam
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby greeneggsandsam » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:43 am

Thanks cooran

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:This illustrates exactly how important Meditation, and focus is.

Our environment cannot always be peaceful, silent.... with the aroma of incense, the periodic striking of a bell, or nothing to accompany us, but the sound and sensation of our breath.

You lucky person! What a most excellent opportunity to truly develop calm and insight!

Be Aware.
Be aware of every single sound, and everything that happens.
Note them, take them in, focus on them.
But do not add a single mental word of commentary, other than 'voice'....'light'.....TV.....

Be with them, but not of them. Involve yourself yet remain detached.
Sit. Absorb, observe, and let go.

That's my method, anyway.


Thanks for the advice no.b.s.

But I wish to develop concentration rather than from an insight basis.
I think I might try and get some giant earplugs, as this noise sometimes tries to interact with me even in the middle of my meditation.
The forest is looking like a sweet sanctuary right now.

:anjali:
If you think nibbana is better than samsara, then you've missed the point - Ajahn Sumedho

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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:53 am

To me the exercise is the same thing.
Do not be distracted by external sounds/stimulii, but CONCENTRATE on making them part and parcel of what you are doing, without attachment.

It is what it is.
your resistance to 'what is', seems to indicate you think you can 'improve on it'.

Accept it. Let it be. Float like a leaf on the surface of a stream. You're with the water, but not part of it....
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby walkart » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:42 am

Image

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manas
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby manas » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:01 pm

greeneggsandsam wrote:Unfortunately due to some circumstances outside of my control, I often have to deal with a lot of background noise during my meditation, such as, people talking, lights being switched on, arguments, tv, etc etc.

Any useful tips on how to not get distracted by such noise??

I have a feeling someone might suggest walking meditation, so besides that as I do prefer sitting, especially with a lack of a flat path and some cold weather.


:anjali:


HI greeneggs

just get up early in the morning, say an hour before everyone else. This has always worked well for me.

kind regards
manas
:anjali:

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Mkoll
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby Mkoll » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:47 pm

manas wrote:
greeneggsandsam wrote:Unfortunately due to some circumstances outside of my control, I often have to deal with a lot of background noise during my meditation, such as, people talking, lights being switched on, arguments, tv, etc etc.

Any useful tips on how to not get distracted by such noise??

I have a feeling someone might suggest walking meditation, so besides that as I do prefer sitting, especially with a lack of a flat path and some cold weather.


:anjali:


HI greeneggs

just get up early in the morning, say an hour before everyone else. This has always worked well for me.

kind regards
manas
:anjali:

Yes, getting up at 4AM is an almost sure way to avoid such noise.
Peace,
James

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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby SarathW » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:17 am

G wrote:
"The forest is looking like a sweet sanctuary right now."

=======
Noise of those monkey might drive you mad!
We have to learn to live with noise.
:sage:

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manas
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby manas » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:23 am

Mkoll wrote:Yes, getting up at 4AM is an almost sure way to avoid such noise.


And I find that the air is fresher and sweeter to breathe at that time, too.

:anjali:

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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:51 am

The trouble with that is, living as a lay person, there is the danger of falling asleep at around 2pm.... Which is not ideal, if one is, for example, a truck-driver.... :coffee:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Mkoll
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby Mkoll » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:10 am

Here's a verse from SN 9.8, Ven. Bodhi's translation. The commentary says this bhikkhu was an arahant and the context is his meeting with a devatā.

[The bhikkhu:]
"There are many disagreeable sounds
That an ascetic must patiently endure.
One should not be dismayed because of that,
For it is not by this one is defiled.

"If one is frightened by random sounds
Like an antelope dwelling in the woods,
They call him 'one with fickle mind':
His practice does not succeed."
Peace,
James

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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:24 am

greeneggsandsam wrote:But I wish to develop concentration rather than from an insight basis.
I think I might try and get some giant earplugs, as this noise sometimes tries to interact with me even in the middle of my meditation.
The forest is looking like a sweet sanctuary right now.


Concentration is sustaining a quality of balance and attentiveness of mind, it has nothing to do with focusing on a single object though focusing on a single object helps to get it established.

Noise is only a problem because of aversion to it, because you think it shouldn't be happening and you'd be better off without it. Better to use it as an opportunity to train the mind to be balanced and attentive in adverse circumstances.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:34 am

Thank you Goofaholix, that was precisely my point.

Blessings on you.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

walkart
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby walkart » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:32 pm

Behind the noise there is silence. There is no noise without a silence. There is no waves without a ground.

Take this noise as object, and find the silence in it.
Last edited by walkart on Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:54 pm

(....'Vawes'...?) :?
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

walkart
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby walkart » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:09 pm

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:(....'Vawes'...?) :?


I'am sorry, i meant "waves".

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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:11 pm

Thank you.
I even looked it up, just in case.
(I'm a complete doofus, so you never know... )
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

greeneggsandsam
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby greeneggsandsam » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:27 pm

Thanks for the advice dhamma friends.
manas wrote:
greeneggsandsam wrote:Unfortunately due to some circumstances outside of my control, I often have to deal with a lot of background noise during my meditation, such as, people talking, lights being switched on, arguments, tv, etc etc.

Any useful tips on how to not get distracted by such noise??

I have a feeling someone might suggest walking meditation, so besides that as I do prefer sitting, especially with a lack of a flat path and some cold weather.


:anjali:


HI greeneggs

just get up early in the morning, say an hour before everyone else. This has always worked well for me.

kind regards
manas
:anjali:


Yes, I think this is the easiest way around it... I usually meditate at night when everyone is asleep, because I am terrible at waking early :zzz:

This just happened to be the case I tried sneaking in an afternoon meditation when no one was home, and ten minutes in the bombs started dropping , people talking right next to me as I am trying to meditate. :o

and to the rest of the replies I take note that noise is something to be equanimous about, as goofaholix mentioned it does help in establishing a calm mind.

I think it was ajahn chah who once said that monks should come to the forest to get away from distractions until they are firm in their practice and can better handle the distractions of the cities...

So, until I have unwavering equanimity I think I will just try and bear it or better yet try and adjust my schedule.

:anjali:
If you think nibbana is better than samsara, then you've missed the point - Ajahn Sumedho

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Tips for a noisy meditation

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:42 pm

Obviously your living environment is completely unknown to me...
My room has a door with a small window in it....the family I am with, know not to "disturb" me when my door is closed and I have drawn the little curtain over the frosted window (which is not see-thru in any case....)
At other times, if the door is closed, and uncurtained, they knock. Most of the time, I leave it wide open....

Can you not try to discuss these distractions with them, reach a compromise, ask them to not disturb you, or go to a separate place in the house where you can sit quietly and not be assailed too much by their noise?
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....


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